Food, Glorious Food
The property boasts several dining establishments, including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, and DUO Steak and Seafood, the hottest new restaurant in Maui. But for our tastes, we simply adore any opportunity to dine outdoors, near the pool, at Ferraro’s.
We started with a delicious bruschetta, followed by spinach salads with balsamic vinegar (not the vinaigrette — we wanted to save as many calories as possible for dessert). We also couldn’t resist sampling Ferraro’s pumpkin gnocchi served with brown butter, shaved Grana Pandana and black truffles. They were sweet and savory all at the same time; in fact, they were creamy and dreamy. Next we just had to try the risotto of the day, containing mushrooms and truffles — yes, there was more fungus among us, and it was a truffle-iscious treat that was earthy and buttery and salty. By this time we had more than our fill of food, but we pressed on. Deb had the pan-seared prawns ($46) loaded with herbs and drizzled with a creamy tomato sauce — they were loaded with flavor. Bill had a tremendous roasted sea bass ($45) — in our opinion, everything is better when it’s roasted – and it really brought out the flavor of this “filetto” served with oven-roasted potatoes and toasted pine nuts.
The highlight, of course, was the molten chocolate cake served with a hazelnut crust ($14), which reminded us of Nutella but was even better. The pastry chef apparently makes her own chocolate, and includes it in this little gem. There’s also, for example, a white chocolate rice pudding that sounds divine, and warm panettone baked with caramelized apples. If you prefer a prix fixe menu, there a $95pp option that offers gazpacho; Caprese salad; the luscious pumpkin gnocchi; fennel-dusted onaga and braised veal shanks; and a trio of desserts (accompanied with wine for $125pp). All we can do is throw our heads back and say “Ay-ay-ay,” what a wonderful way to spend an evening.
Of course, if you opt to stay on the Club Floor, you can actually eat like this throughout your stay. We looo-ve Club Floors, because these “homes within a hotel” are warm and sunny and cozy, and a great place to rendezvous for diet drinks, cocktails, snacks, and goodies. This one is a doozy – there’s continental breakfast; afternoon tea; evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; and late-night desserts and after-drinks. There’s also a dedicated Club Concierge who can arrange your vacation activities, golf, tennis, dining, spa treatments, salon appointments, you name it.
Staying at the Four Seasons Maui also allows use of Wailea Golf Club’s three 18-hole championship golf courses; complimentary use of two on-site tennis courts; complimentary use of the 24-hour (we repeat, 24-hour) fitness center (which is a splendid service, especially after a very heavy dinner); and the complimentary “Kids For All Seasons” activities. It includes year-round supervised activity programs for children ages five-12 including use of the climbing wall; children’s menus or selections at all restaurants and room service; special welcome amenity; children’s DVD library and more.
At most resorts, you pay dearly for the kids programs, making this feature at the Four Seasons Maui quite extraordinary.
Some Enchanted Enclave, indeed.
Rates for 2010 start at $425 for a mountain-side room.
And if you want more, more, more of the Maui Four Seasons — or any Four Seasons for that matter, read Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy (Portfolio Books), written by founder, chairman and CEO Isadore Sharp. This is the story of how a child of immigrants starting with no background in the hotel business, and created the world’s most admired and successful hotel brand. In 1961 Sharp opened the first Four Seasons in Toronto, and today it operates 82 luxury hotels and resorts around the world. Well done!